Posts tagged dic
Posts tagged dic
By Dan Kinem
The Pog phenomenon is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of our time. There’s no reason why tiny round cardboard discs should exist, let alone why they were one of the most popular children’s games of the 1990s. I mean, video games existed, yet somehow Pogs became popular — popular enough to have a 30-minute animated special based on them, too! Now don’t get it twisted, as much as I might make fun of the game, I adore Pogs. In fact, I still collect them and am continually on the hunt for those rare milkcaps that have managed to allude me all these years. But, regardless of all that, this special has about as much to do with Pogs as my refrigerator has to do with Pepsi. Zilch.
Right off the bat you get the feeling that this was originally intended to be the pilot for a show and due to the fact it was terrible, was passed off as a special. There’s even a theme song with the braindead lyrics, “Hawaiian slam-slam slammers!” and “Slammers of Darkness, Slammers of Light, when they come together they fight, fight, fight!”
The basic plot is very reminiscent of Pokemon, actually. There are five Slammers of Darkness and five Slammers of Light, and whoever finds them and spins them gets one of the immortal beings that are trapped in them as their servant. Whoever manages to capture them all becomes the ultimate ruler of Light and Dark.
For those who don’t know or were either too young or too old to know what a “slammer” is, it’s the Pog (sometimes made of metal, sometimes made of plastic) that you would throw at the other Pogs to make them bounce in the air and flip right side up. Only now, through explaining how to play Pogs, have I realized how fucking stupid it sounds.
You are immediately introduced to your villain, archaeologist Dr. Karl Von Fragman, when he is releasing his first Dark Slammer from its volcanic rock home. He wants to collect all of them in order to have world domination. I don’t know why the creator decided to give him a German accent and make him look like a leprechaun, but it adds to the bizarreness of the whole thing, that’s for sure. Our hero is a dorky white kid named Ronnie. He coincidentally discovers one of the Light Slammers after a healthy game of Pogs with his friends. When Fragman finds out, it becomes a battle between Light and Dark, good and bad. The battle to end all battles.
They decide to battle inside an active volcano, because that’s where the rest of the slammers are located. Ronnie almost pussies out, but decides, “If Indiana Jones can do it, I guess I can, too.” Mind you, I still haven’t seen every episode of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles yet, but I highly doubt there’s ever a time when Indy has to enter an active volcano to fight an evil leprechaun over some Pogs.
Ronnie wins. Good prevails. But just when you think it’s all wrapped up with a nice bow and all the Slammers are back where they belong, Ronnie finds his Light Slammer, proving that this was definitely left open-ended in case a show deal could be worked out. Lucky for us, all we get is this one 22-minute special that proves there can be a TV show about literally anything. I will tell you one thing, though, I’ll never look at Pogs the same way again.
Very little information is known about this special and I can’t even seem to find who directed or created it, not even in the credits. I do know Jeffrey Scott wrote it and he’s written 100s of different shows ranging from Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The tape was released by DIC Toon-Time Video. The fact this thing was even able to be released baffles me, but I guess kids would buy anything animated back then. I imagine this one isn’t a super common tape, but since no one on Earth wants it, you can get it very cheap. The VHS also featured a fun trailer for Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad.
Here’s the full 22 minutes for your asses!
by Tim May
Tracking. This is a problem with VHS. When I pop in a tape and all I see are lines of static running up and down my screen, I get worried. We’ve had bad experiences with this in the past, but thank the VHS gods, because Just for Kids Video has sent this little cretin to save the day.
This scumbag child informed us at the beginning of Beverly Hills Teens, which seemed to be having quite the tracking seizure, that if I’m experiencing any problems, just to ask “mom or dad or big brother or big sister” to adjust the tracking on our VCR. This kid was apparently a staple of every Just for Kids release, as I found out only a couple days after watching Beverly Hills Teens when I saw the little shit at the beginning of a recently donated copy of Gamera Vs. Zigra.
Unfortunately, the tracking worked itself out, and we had to sit through two episodes of the absolutely atrocious Beverly Hills Teens. This show was produced by DIC, a huge player in late ‘80s/early ‘90s children’s television. Some of their stuff was decent (Inspector Gadget), but most of it was just dick.
This is a show about a bunch of unpleasant rich douchebags. Unlike the later Beverly Hills 90210 (which is entirely unrelated, despite embarrassingly proclaiming the false connection in a recent VHShit-Bits episode), Beverly Hills Teens was a show for little kids, so they couldn’t fall back on sleaze when the characters became too insufferable. We simply have a bunch of rich assholes showing off their extravagant wealth (video phones, massive mansions, fake accents, ugh).
The first episode is called “Potions of Love.” You can probably guess what this garbage is about. Some rich twat (Bianca) wants some rich cock (Troy), so she recruits the token boy genius character (Chester) to concoct a love potion for her. Hmm.
Another rich piece of shit named Pierce who seems to have captured Ziggy from Quantum Leap hears about the love potion and forces Chester to make one for him, as well. There are, of course, tons of mix-ups involving a stupid ‘80s surfer character and some Australian scum. Everything works out in the end and no one winds up falling in love with anyone.
The second episode was “Teenclub Carnival.” The kids are throwing a carnival to help out “less fortunate” kids. Rich kids trying to help the poor is more unbelievable than love potions. This stupid “rocker chick” character with huge hair is going out with that Australian scumbag I mentioned earlier. Of course, the bitch/slut character tries to interfere and take this Crocodile Hunter pig to the carnival. Yawn.
Beverly Hills Teens has all the hallmarks indicative of many of the cartoons of its era: cheesy storylines, completely flat characters, grating voice acting, and truly horrendous animation. Of course, as this blog proves, the power of nostalgia is strong, and this show has its fans.
“This if for all rabid BHT fans: www.petitionsonline.com has a petition to put the entire series on DVD, COMPLETE WITH COMMERICAL BREAKERS WITH SWITCHBOARD! You can sign it there or link to it from www.toonarific.com, www.retrojunk.com, or www.dvdtalk.com. It’s high time Shout! Factory and DIC Entertainment gave us what we want! Only a few episodes were officially released on VHS. Among these are “My Fair Wilshire”, “Double Surfing Double Cross”, “Casting Call”, “The Makeover”, “The Dog Ate My Homework”, “Camp Camping”, “Snow Carnival”, “Chase of a Lifetime”, “Robot Romance”, “Down And Out At The Teen Club”, “Radley Wipes Out”, “Rampage”, “From Rad To Worse”, “Roughing It”, and a few other early ones (I’m not sure which ones were on Buy Buy Babies; this list is for the remaining volumes: Beverly Hills Teens Vol. 1, The Rich Kids On The Block, Funny Money Mischief, Roughing It, The Makeover, The Dog Ate My Homework, Rampage, and From Rad To Worse). This leaves other ones, such as “McTech, P.I.” out and strongly to be desired. I rediscovered the show last October and have been searching for this episode ever since. I’ve just got to know why Lark got arrested and how everything turned out! I was five when this one aired, but it bugged me since she was the proverbial girl next door. I could see Bianca getting arrested, but not Lark! I have a feeling Bianca had something to do with it, since she’s always trying to get Troy from her. Anyway, the only way we’ll know is when we can all see this episode. No matter how much it costs, I’ll be first in line when it hits the stores. They’ve already got eleven signatures so far, and I hope the rest of you fans will spread the word and give Beverly Hills Teens a chance to shine again, like so many other eighties cartoons have lately. And even if you do have the VHS versions, it’d be great to have backups plus superb quality. I’ve never gotten tired of my old favorites; they just get better every time I see them. Let’s let Shout! Factory, and especially the mother company, DIC Entertainment, know what we want right now!”
Hahahahaha! First off, petitions for DVD releases never work, you fucking fool. Also, eleven signatures? I’m laughing my dick off. I’m just imagining NIGHTSTALKER193-1 making flyers and posting them all around his hometown, crying himself to sleep every night over the cancellation of Beverly Hills Teens and its subsequent fade into obscurity. Nostalgia is all well and good, until you start liking trash like this. Sure, I can enjoy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, despite its flaws, but at least that show was sometimes genuinely funny. I hope people continue to forget this garbage and I hope it’s never released on DVD. Beverly Hills Teens is a vapid, putrid piece of ‘80s animated puke.